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The Hill
The Hill
23 Feb 2024
Julia Mueller

NextImg:Noem touts her gubernatorial record amid VP speculation: We need ‘leaders outside the swamp’

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) touted her record as governor in remarks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) amid speculation that she is a top contender for former President Trump’s 2024 running mate.

“We need to look for our leaders outside of the swamp,” Noem said at CPAC. 

“Nobody turns to D.C. for the solutions. Nothing meaningful gets accomplished here. It is governors who have had to lead, and I have seen governors make bad decisions and devastate their states, and we have seen governors who did the right thing,” Noem said. 

Noem touted her leadership in the Mount Rushmore state, including resisting mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic, a ban on TikTok and a recent move to deploy National Guard troops from her state to the southern border, which she called a “war zone.” 

“For me personally, I slammed my foot on the gas. I promoted freedom, personal responsibility and our Constitution.”

Earlier this month, Trump name-dropped Noem when asked about a possible running mate for 2024. This week, he confirmed she was one of a half-dozen figures on his shortlist. 

Noem is among the lineup of leading GOP figures speaking at the annual conservative conference in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington — along with Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Arizona Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake. 

Trump endorsed Noem, a former House lawmaker, in 2018 to become the first female governor of South Dakota. She won a second gubernatorial term in 2022 with the former president’s backing and has rallied with Trump as he tries for another White House term in 2024.

CPAC continues through Saturday, when Trump will take to the stage for remarks.